- In her thorough and comprehensive study "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View", Lynne Rudder Baker argues for what she calls the Constitution View of persons. This view comprises two strands.
The book is basically an elucidation and defence of these two strands.
- According to one strand, persons are constituted by, but not identical with, their bodies.
- According to the other strand, persons are essentially self-conscious beings with a distinctively first-person perspective on the world.
- I am pretty much in agreement with Baker on both strands.
(My own views on these matters, for what they’re worth, are set out in my short book "Garrett (Brian) - Personal Identity and Self-consciousness" (Routledge, 1998).)
- I agree, contra the Animalists, that persons are not identical to their bodies/brains, but reject Dualism; so I agree that the relation between a person and his body is constitution-without-identity.
- And I agree that persons are distinctively and uniquely self-conscious beings, with a first-person perspective on themselves and the world.
- However, I found it a bit odd that both these strands were described as comprising the Constitution View, as if the two strands formed a unified view. I would have thought that ‘Constitution View’ is really only a name for the first, metaphysical, strand; after all, many different metaphysical conceptions of the relation between a person and his body could agree that there is an intimate link between personhood and self-consciousness. But this may just be a book-keeping point. What of more substantial issues? I have no intention of discussing every issues Baker raises, and will confine my comments largely to claims made in Chapters 3, 5 and 9, ie. to .
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